Gender Equity Council Projects

Gender Equity Design Review

The Gender Equity Council is currently collaborating with Facilities and Service to create a checklist of issues to include in the gender equity design review process. The checklist includes examples of "best practice" designs and recommendations for minimum and maximum dimensions.

The Gender Equity Design Review Checklist will address:

  • Restrooms
  • Privacy within men's and women's facilities
  • Entry Privacy
  • Accommodations for families
  • Potty parity issues
  • Height accessibility
  • Lactation Spaces
  • Adjustable Podiums

Universal Design Podium (March 2011)

This aim of this project was to provide a gender friendly experience to all campus speakers. The specially designed podium was initiated, designed, developed and constructed at the University of Illinois. It's adjustable design allows anyone from 4"2" to 7"0" to speak comfortably and to be seen by a large audience. The podium solves a serious problem for speakers of diverse shapes, sizes, and physical abilities, many of whom are routinely diminished and discredited by inappropriately sized podiums.

The final design was unveiled at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2011, at the same event where the five multi-media projects were displayed. Hundreds of visitors saw it and several of varying shapes, sizes, and physical abilities (such as wheelchair users Carl Lewis and Jean Driscoll) tried it out. These included students, faculty, administrators, staff, and community members. The reactions of those who tried the new podium were overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

The final prototype includes the following features:

  • Easy push-button operation, allowing speakers to raise and lower podium using two electronic activators
  • Microphone
  • Flexible light on both sides of the podium
  • Slide-out for wheelchair access accommodating both left-handed or right-handed speakers
  • Power provided on both sides
  • Slide-out cup holder
  • Space for bag/purse storage
  • Heavy-duty wheels
  • Hidden stool for extra height
  • Modesty panel